Lithuania vs England: Phil Jones starts, Chris Smalling rested

by Sam Peoples

Phil Jones has been given his first start of the season in tonight’s England game against Lithuania.

The 23-year-old comes in at centre-back for Manchester United team-mate Chris Smalling who looks to be getting a much deserved rest after an intense start to the season.

Jones’ thrombosis problem in his leg has stopped him from getting this season under way properly but he’ll now be desperate to put injury woes behind him and kick on from here.



With Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick also out injured, Jones is Man United’s only representative in the starting XI for England but that’s not a bad thing at all.

Sub zero temperatures and a 3G artificial pitch means game against Lithuania has the potential to throw up plenty of injury problems and United don’t need any more of them right now.

For Jones, the only thing he will be concentrating on is working on his own match fitness because with Smalling and Blind playing so well at centre-back, he’s got a tough task on his hands trying to break that partnership up.

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